Phillies starter Halladay says he’s fine

Roy Halladay is just fine despite ugly numbers.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner said he’s not injured and

criticized a report suggesting something may be wrong with him

because he’s struggled in spring training.

Halladay got rocked for five runs and seven hits before getting

yanked in the third inning of Philadelphia’s loss to Minnesota on

Wednesday. A report later surfaced quoting two unidentified scouts

expressing concern that Halladay’s velocity is down and his

sharpness is off.

”Poor reporting on the extreme end of poor reporting,”

Halladay said Thursday. ”It couldn’t be further from the


Halladay, an eight-time All-Star, has a 10.56 ERA in three

spring starts. He acknowledged his velocity is down, but isn’t

worried because it’s still early.

”Yeah, I’m 34 and (with) 2,500 innings, it does take a while to

get going,” he said. ”I don’t pay attention to that. The older

you get, the more you throw, the longer it takes you to get

yourself going. When I came up, I threw 98. Last year, I was

throwing 92-93. It’s not unusual. When you get older, it takes you

longer. The more innings you throw, the more it takes to get

yourself going again.”

Halladay is 40-16 with a 2.40 ERA, 17 completes game and five

shutouts in his two seasons with the Phillies. He threw a perfect

game, a postseason no-hitter and won the NL Cy Young Award in


Halladay’s success makes people expect dominant performances

each time he takes the mound, even in meaningless exhibition games.

Many pitchers use spring training to work on different pitches,

grips, arm angles and various mechanics.

Halladay is no different. He understands the importance of

making sure he’s ready to go when the games matter, and even more

so, in the postseason because the Phillies have World

Series-or-bust aspirations.

”I think it’s hard, the older you get and the more spring

trainings you’re around, you can try and have as much intensity as

you can, but it’s just not the same,” he said. ”I think once you

get closer and you’re really not working on stuff and you’re trying

to pitch, it’s a little different level of competition. It’s all

part of it. Would I like to be throwing 98 right now? Yeah. That

would be great. But I don’t expect that’s going to happen.”

Neither pitching coach Rich Dubee nor teammates are concerned

about Halladay’s rough spring.

”He’s a guy that can figure it out right away,” catcher Carlos

Ruiz said. ”It’s nothing we have to worry about because he said he

feels great.”